The Korea Herald


Election watchdog busts political deepfakes ahead of April general election

By Kim Arin

Published : Feb. 19, 2024 - 15:05

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National Election Commission (NEC) National Election Commission (NEC)

The South Korean constitutional agency overseeing election administration said Monday it formed a task force aimed at fighting artificial intelligence-generated deceitful content related to the general election in April.

The National Election Commission said in a release that it busted a total of 129 deepfakes that were deemed to violate the laws on elections of public officials between Jan. 29 and Feb. 16.

The “politically motivated” deepfakes were caught by the watchdog through a screening of social media sites and other online platforms. Most of them have since been taken down.

In December, the National Assembly voted to pass revisions to the laws on public official elections to bar the usage of deepfakes in political campaigns. Violations of the revised laws, which came into effect on Jan. 29, can lead to jail time of up to seven years or a fine of up to 50 million won.

In the municipal election in 2022, a deep fake video of President Yoon Suk Yeol endorsing a candidate for the chief of a county in South Gyeongsang Province came under scrutiny after going viral online.

The election watchdog task force, dedicated to countering deepfake threats and other malicious cyber activities against elections, comprises 72 officials and experts.